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Saturday, February 9, 2013

carving out compromises

Michelangelo said once that every block of stone has a statue inside it.  And it is the task of the sculptor to discover it. 
I can just see him with his eyes closed, the side of his face pressed to the cool block of stone.  He then abruptly stands back with his hands on his hips.  Like he’s a child obeying some sort of dinner or bath time call from his mother.  It’s with that same urgency he begins to chisel away.  Each hit accompanying a painful, low clink, disturbing the bellows of the large marble monster in front of him.

And then stuff like the David and Pieta would happen. 

I think I’ve been treating my heart the same way lately.  Day by day taking out a chisel and hammering the sharp tool repeatedly into it.  Disrupting its roots, cleaving off large chunks of it.  The pieces strip off the side, and they roll around like dice by my feet on the floor.

But taking a chisel to my heart has not unveiled a masterpiece.  What’s left behind is not a work of art that just needs to be knocked away of its extraneous stone.  All that remains of my piece of stone heart is the very dregs of who I am.

See, the carving I have been doing to my heart has been extracting the lessons I have learned from the wisdom of others.  It’s been a very selective, repetitive process:

Sure, I’ll date this dude for a while - he doesn’t have facial hair, or play the guitar.  Or live like he loves God.  But he’s tall (

Okay, a guy doesn’t have to pursue me, or support and inspire my dreams.  We can just hang out at his place watching high definition life pass before us on his television set (
clink, clink!).

Well, I was working until 2 a.m., and a 9:30 church service seems like it would do more harm to my personality than good (

I know these certain pockets of people drag me down, but if I don’t hang out with them I won’t have any friends at all (

I’ve been carving out these compromises from my heart for years.  I think we all must do it in some form or another.  Otherwise, we wouldn’t need a Savior to put the pieces back together.  I need to put down the tools that strip me of the things that I know.  The things that extract large chunks of my heart.

A great artist knows how to reveal the statue living in the middle of stone.  But only God knows how to put our cleaved and chiseled hearts back together.  


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